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News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

3D Printers Demonstrate Rapid Robot Evolution

 They already excel at building cars, exploring distant planets and hunting for explosives, but it turns out that robots might also evolve much faster than their flesh-and-blood counterparts.

Nick Cheney, a Ph.D. student at Cornell University, presented his research at an Inside Cornell lecture on May 21. Cheney has developed a method by which complex computer simulations in a specific virtual environment — robots, by his definition — can evolve from selective pressures, just like animals in nature, but on a timescale of days instead of countless generations.

To demonstrate the technology, Cheney showed how a series of diverse but effective robots spontaneously evolved from a single, inefficient ancestor. He programmed a virtual environment with only one parameter: robots that moved faster would be able to produce more offspring.

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